Defending champion Dipika Pallikal on Tuesday pulled out of the 74th Senior National Squash Championship beacuse of an ankle strain. “It’s very unfortunate that I have to pull out. As I have an important season coming up, I thought I needed to be fully fit before the new season starts,” Pallikal said while talking to PTI.
Eyeing the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games next year, Pallikal insisted that to be properly ready for future competitions, she needs time to heal up her ankle injury.
“We all have an important year coming up, next year is a huge year for us as we have the CWG and Asian Games, so I feel that to be properly ready for the season I needed to give my ankle some time to heal before I rush to match practice. I will definitely miss playing the nationals as I was looking forward to defending my title,” the 25-year-old added.
The organisers of the event have kept equal prize money of Rs 1.5 lakh each for men’s and women’s winner. Talking about the same, Joshna Chinappa suggested that she would play irrespective of the prize money.
“Playing the Nationals has always been important for me. It is great that there is equal prize money now but honestly, I would play irrespective of the prize money,” said Chinappa.
“However, I do hope that having equal prize money can attract a lot more youngsters to the game in the next five to 10 years. That will be indeed a positive,” she added.